“Lord I want to leave this country” was one of the highlights on my prayer list since 2015, when I left the University. Mind you, not because I hated my country. No, Nigeria will always be a dear place for me because it groomed me.
Rather I wanted to leave because my preferred course of study (Biotechnology); based on findings is well taught on a higher scale in the developed countries where they are fully invested in tech.
So yes I started my applications. Oh, these applications were on serial mode!
It stretched me. And yeah some of them came through but finance was always the issue.
Yeah maybe I was just the girl with big dreams.
Truthfully, when I think about the funding aspect of the program during these applications, somehow I am like – let me just try it out.
In between this, I applied for some of the available scholarships as well, but guess what? It all went south (all declined).
But the knowing and drive that “There is something more for me than this” was always there. And as much as so many situations frustrated me, I am thankful God kept the dream alive in me.
A quick detour on this. I was trying to sleep sometime last week when these thoughts crossed my mind. And I knew it was one of those moments when I don’t have to stop at “thank you Jesus” and it was important for me to share His goodness.
So between 2015 and 2021. I had nothing less than 10 admissions in different countries; had a recurrent full scholarship with GTA offer in US for 2 years but I couldn’t go because I had my visa denied 5 times (another story for another day). And several emails sent out with no reply at all or “sorry my team is currently full and won’t be considering for this academic year”. I also had tons of applications which were declined. And yes I had scholarship applications which were rejected.
Phew, I was down in some of these moments as it wasn’t easy for my mind to wave off some of these “rejection or helpless” experiences. But somehow I just knew there was something more for me beyond the shores of my home country.
I remember catching up with a friend of mine while we were on our way for her to drop me off, when I went to Abuja for one of the visa interviews. We thought Lagos was just a brutal place based on comments received so far about its rejection rates compared to that of Abuja. So it felt like the safe option.
This was after I got the 4th rejection letter. And while we were in her car, I was like “And some people will not go through the stress I’m going through right now, possibly using fake documents and get away with it, but here I was trying to do the right thing yet they rejected it”. I said this with tears building up in my eyes. Such moments ain’t easy when you think of all you’ve invested into it. Sighs!
Did I get opportunities to walk the easy way out too. Oh yes I got such offers. But I knew it was beyond me. Because whatever means this came through for me, it just has to be “All to God’s glory”.
What about the time I had packed and sorted out my bags; bought provisions and all I needed because I was already given a pass on the visa and just needed to send a supporting document.
Funny, the document was sent back to me not because the embassy rejected it but it never even got to them. Who will explain, how a whole embassy address in Abuja will be marked as incorrect. 😂
The same place I and my mom went and is stated on Google map. But for some reason, DHL couldn’t find it for 2 days and per protocol had to return it back to me. Phew!
And then I had to send it again. More money spent. 🥲
My savings spiraled down marvelously in all these. 😀 Lol, I can laugh about it now but it wasn’t easy times.
Mom also took loans to fund the account needed for the time frame for the proof of funds. Because really, I wasn’t going to pay tuition at all and I had GTA role that came with a good pay. But having a statement showing your tuition and living cost was still needed. Phew! where do we account for the interest paid on these loans taken at these separate times? And yet I got no visible result. 🥲
In the midst of the odds, HCCounsels (my blog and writings) kept me active. Literarily, it was my job in real time 2019-2020 because I had no job.
And some days I felt like not doing anything or reaching out but He will nudge me to. So when I get to be a part of lessening a burden, It lightens me up too. And this went on for a year plus. Phew!￼
So to cut my long story short – Did I eventually leave? Yes I did. How?, you ask. 😊
I did in a way I least expected. Actually “we” least expected. God decided to blow our minds away and brought an offer in a very short time frame and brought us down to our new location. Truthfully, I am still always amazed at this testimony. Because I never picture it happening this way.
I have planned and kept planning on a direction – A, and God decided to show up in a direction – Z. Trust me, it was way out of my expectation.
Did I feel the frights in between our visa applications for this one. Oh yes I did. I had resigned from work even before we got a response. Call me crazy faith lady. But really I struggled doing it, but I have had a similar experience, when I knew I had to leave my work place (even though part of why I left, fell sideways), because it was time to. It was one of such moments when He was teaching me “Trust” even when it seems nothing is working according to plan.
This time around I am on a much bigger faith walk – “Take each day with me, step after step”. That was the word He gave me. It has been a year of not overthinking things (knowing how active my head functions 🤣). And not having to plan much because trust me my planning means I have factored the pros and cons and I take the safe route. 😂
So yes, no planning the Mercy’s way. It was time to trust Him, even if the full picture isn’t yet in full view. I would say it has helped me live in the moment, and be grateful for each day instead of waiting for what I’m expecting to happen next week or in a couple of weeks. 🙌🏼
I am thankful we are where we are. I am loving it here and the people here are all smiling at you when they look at you. And trust me. joy and calm are two things we all need. 😊
So yes, God always has a plan. And maybe it seems like God is pushing you hard because others are having it easy and you haven’t, God has His timing set for you and nothing (absolutely nothing) can stop Him from showing up for you. It didn’t stop Him from raising Lazarus right?
I remember a funny thing that happened at different times during the waiting years – I had shared my testimonies in advance for God coming through for the visas that were denied. Danced, rejoiced etc in faith and it all went futile. In it God would remind me that I promised to testify to His faithfulness regardless. So yes, I always did share the testimony.
During some of these moments of sharing, I was holding back the tears because it wasn’t like it happened and it was painful. And here I was saying thank you Jesus, because you are faithful even though this visa was rejected and I am feeling lost on why this keeps happening. 🥺🙌🏼
Lol, I would have thought God hated me but no, there was that knowing, that God still had good plans for me. Yes I cried myself to sleep countless times. I even told Him to give me a mini break one night when I was way over my head. But nah, Abba must have watched me go to sleep cooking up the comfort I needed because the next morning, I woke up to His words and that brought me back. 🙌🏼
So yes, one thing kept me going – “His past faithfulness”
And until I got to that point He needed me at, He kept me in His waiting and molding room. Do I hate the wait now, No! Rather I’m now most thankful for it. Yes He didn’t allow my journey on this one to be easy peasy as they say.
But I have over time had opportunities to share my testimonies and experiences with lives and it’s encouraging them to keep trusting.
So yes, the wait was worth it because it’s blessing lives. And that is what I live for – A life spent by giving – not just monetary but in presence, prayers and gifts as the situation demands it. 🙌🏼
Lastly, I am thankful for my family and friends who stood by in my lows. ❤️
I pray that your faith becomes more strengthened as you have read this. And may you never underestimate the power and promises of God over your life.
One of my favorite songs:
All my life you have been faithful, All my life you have been so so good. With every breathe that I am able. I will sing of the goodness of God.
Title – Goodness of God by Bethel Music